New Nevada County public defender likely chosen by October |

New Nevada County public defender likely chosen by October

Nevada County officials say that by October a new public defender could take office, filling a position vacant since February.

Applicants for the public defender job had until Aug. 26 to apply. Eleven people, including interim Public Defender Keri Klein, applied for the position.

CEO Rick Haffey will make the appointment after an interview process, said Charlie Wilson, the county’s Human Resources director.

The position pays between $129,948 and $158,640.

According to Wilson, his office will screen applicants before working with Haffey to determine which ones should appear for preliminary interviews, expected in mid- to late September. Interviews will include representatives from county Health and Human Services, Human Resources, CEO and District Attorney’s offices. Someone from another county’s Public Defender’s Office also will attend.

Two or three candidates will proceed to a second round of interviews with Haffey, which should occur within a week of the preliminary meetings.

“I will appoint the most qualified individual who is committed to the mission of the Public Defender’s Office and has the best abilities to manage a criminal defense law office,” Haffey said in an email.

The county will perform background checks before offering the job to the winning candidate, expected by mid-October, Wilson said.

Don Lown, the previous public defender, retired in February.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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